Why I Am Emergent, Part 3: Theologically Counter-Cultural

 Continuing in the series of processing through the reasons of why I resonate with the Emergent Movement (See week 1 and week 2), I’m left pondering being theologically countercultural.One of the first things I noticed as I began reading emergent books and blogs, visiting emergent churches and events, and meeting emergent people, was that there seemed to be a uniqueness about them and the way they were.  I have heard of a church that jokingly refers to themselves as “the island of mi … [Read more...]

My Spiritual Path to Virtual Community

Michael with his Sudanese students

Upon receiving a welcome email with a username and password, I paused to reflect. A frighteningly wonderful realization surfaced: I've walked alone to discover a virtual community. This marvelous opportunity to join the writers of Emergent Village once again affirms what my life has been shouting for years -- my peers truly dwell in cyberspace. Despite my failures to connect at the local church level, despite the mundane state of all things Michael, my spiritual journey entails this virtual … [Read more...]

G|od, After the Or(g)y

there is so much meaning that meaning itself  has ceased to exist. somehow, due to the overuse of ideology, concepts, 'truth' and other colloquialisms there is no more reality to experience.the cliche has become too cliche. it is not that reality does not exist. but it is that reality has been hidden behind that which we assume has been reality all along. and then when we peel the curtains back, due to the pregnancy of over-meaning, reality is yet again hidden behind itself. let me … [Read more...]

BELIEVE…

Last week I was in New York City, and on a rainy night I took a walk from the East Village up Broadway towards Time Square-- to see the famous Christmas window displays at Macy’s that I’ve heard about since childhood. Everyone talks about the magic of Christmas in New York. Although I imagined snowflakes gently falling, It was unseasonably warm and humid and I had to strip down to a t-shirt as I strolled past the Tuesday night garbage piled high along the boulevard. Glancing down I found a brand … [Read more...]

An Invitation to None

“Nones” were the subject this past weekend of a New York Times op-ed piece (Dec 10, 2011) by Eric Weiner, entitled “Americans: Undecided About God?” “Nones” refers to people with no religious affiliation. In this article Weiner has a challenge for church folk to seek a “new way of being religious...this new way would be straightforward and unencumbered and absolutely intuitive. Most important, it would be highly interactive. I imagine a religious space that celebrates doubt, encourages experiment … [Read more...]

Saturday Night Live, Modernity and Stories

justin-timberlake-snl-mother-lover

My life changed forever the day I wandered into an abandoned dance studio just west of the Las Vegas Strip on a Wednesday afternoon. It was my first professional improvisational comedy class at The Second City. I had no idea that my life was about to shift so dramatically. I had always been fascinated with improv and sketch comedy. As a kid, I used to sneak out of my room at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings to catch the last thirty minutes of Saturday Night Live. In high school I watched a … [Read more...]

Arab Spring an Inventive Age Reality

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Over the last couple of years I have been suggesting that we are living in the fourth cultural epoch of North American culture. We have seen the Agrarian Age, the Industrial Age, the Information Age and now we are entering the Inventive Age.Each of these ages has particular ways of thinking, valuing, appreciating aesthetics and way of using tools. And all parts of culture including religious communities are created from these cultural situations.In Community in the Inventive Age, I … [Read more...]

conditions

book of conditions

We've heard of loaded guns. We've heard of loaded questions. What about loaded welcomes?(You can check out more of my cartoons over at nakedpastor.) … [Read more...]

Churches, Take Up Your Mats and Walk

There’s an old joke that speaks directly to one of the biggest issues holding back Churches these days:How many Christians does it take to screw in a light bulb?Change? Who said anything about change?!?!I get asked to come in and help struggling churches all over the county. Most of them are aging and see the proverbial writing on the wall if something about their future doesn’t look different soon. Pretty often, I’m asked to unlock the secret to getting young people into the pews, th … [Read more...]

Is My Favorite Bible Story Biblical?

My favorite Bible story probably shouldn’t be in the Bible.I love the story of the woman caught in adultery found in John 8.  I have to be pushing 100 tellings of that particular story in my lifetime. To me, it is gospel in microcosm.But, here’s the thing I tend to gloss over about that section of Scripture. There is almost no chance that the story was in the original manuscript we label the book of John. I won’t bore you with the textual evidence for it. (Because I really don’t care to c … [Read more...]


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